Drug Scarcity Halts Executions In Nevada

Aug 16, 2016

Credit CREDIT KATE TER HAAR, FLICKR, HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY/2.0/

Nevada's top department of corrections official says a lethal injection drug needed to conduct executions has expired, effectively putting a hold on capital punishment.

Department of Corrections director James Dzurenda told the Board of Prison Commissioners on Tuesday that the maker of the medication, drug company Pfizer, will no longer supply the medication for executions.

The department has put out a request for proposals to find an alternative, though many drugmakers are following Pfizer's lead. In an interview with KUNR this month, Dzurenda expressed skepticism of finding a new supply.

“Most of the agencies I’m talking to around the country that actually have death row cannot find these medications out here,” he says.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate if we really push to find a reproduction of these medications through manufacturing companies that weren’t tested. That may not be something we want to go through — a route like that.”

There are about 80 death row inmates in the state, but no executions are currently scheduled.